I don't get the whole fetishism with physical media. When people say they prefer listening to music on vinyl, I usually picture them listening to a Jamie XX album or something, eyes tightly shut, lips slightly pursed, quivering with joy at every pop and scratch. Same thing goes for books: I hold no allegiance to paper books over e-readers. When people say things like how much they love the smell of old books, I wonder if they've wandered off Wes Anderson's movie set.
That's not to say I've never had some great time with physical media. I still have a collection of essential DVDs (mostly horror) that I've carried around with me for over 10 years. They serve as memories of being in college and going to the used CD/DVD store every Tuesday. Back then, I had little disposable income, but I treated myself to a used DVD nearly every week. It became a ritual, one that I didn't know I missed until I stepped foot into Red Brontosaurus Records (3044 North Park Way).
Stepping into the North Park location, I was comforted by a wall of distorted post-punk. "Is this Destruction Unit?" I asked, nearly giddy. It was. There's nothing flashy about Red Brontosaurus' North Park store, and that may be its biggest asset. In a neighborhood that's increasingly craft-bro-oriented, overpriced and twee, there's power in being a gritty place to chill.
I scanned the wall of used SNES video games—the console that defined my childhood. No way, Illusion of Gaia? In its original box? In the back of the store, there was an NES playing Mega Man 3 hooked up to an old TV. The joy of revisiting that game made me think, well, maybe I do understand the fetishism now.